The last week of September also meant the last week for players to score points for the Pro Circuit Autumn season and sure enough we had an extra league day for anyone wanting to catch up on points. So sure enough, I went to all of them. 5 games in 5 days including our casual meetup on Wednesdays. Even though I was safely in the Top 8, I just wanted to test a few other decks out and well just play!
26th September – Sanctury Gaming (23 players)
1) Aidyl (Passimian)
2) Kim (Greninja/Glaceon)
3) Che Yu (Banette/Weavile)
4) Zexuan (Rayquaza/Vikavolt)
5) Rocky (Golisopod/Magcargo)
6) Anselm (Zoroark/Buzzwole)
7) Syafiq R (Ho-oh/Reshiram)
8) Harry (Ho-oh/Reshiram)
Yup. Passimian. I knew how scary the deck was when I went up against it during our League Challenge and sure enough my friend Aidyl dominated with it. He’s been trying to get me on the Passimian hype train too and I’d love to give it a try, I just don’t have a Deoxys to finish the deck (still have not pulled one yet). Ho-oh/Reshiram had a strong showing that day too. If it’s setup stays in tact, it’s hard to beat. Also the first sighting of the new Zoro/Buzzwole deck that would end up taking a Top 8 finish at the Offenbach Regional in Germany this past weekend, a deck that Anselm helped create along with Ilya, the guy who got the top finish.
27th September – Metagame (12 players) Pro-Circuit Points
1) Kenneth (Zoroark/Lycanroc)
2) Reuben (Zoroark/Decidueye)
3) Aidyl (Passimian)
4) Joey (Buzzwole/Lycanroc)
5) Jeremy (Passimian)
6) Irvin (Buzzwole/Naganadel)
7) Nazri (Buzzwole/Lycanroc)
8) Che Yu (Banette/Weavile)
The usual two top decks are back at it, Zoroark and Buzzwole. Passimian was once again right up there with the big boys and if not for some bad luck, might have been the top deck for the second running again with Aidyl too. I actually picked up 2 wins with Zoroark/Lycanroc but because I was late to my first game (poster said they started 8.30, host started at 8) I had to play with a one game loss deficit. We played out the 3 rounds and I did beat him so yup, that’s another Worlds player I’ve played against and beaten him. Confidence booster for sure.
28th September – Project EXT (21 players) Pro-Circuit Points
1) Rauf (Zygarde/Lycanroc)
2) Klive (Garchomp/Lucario)
3) Rizduan (Marshadow/Malamar)
4) Christopher (Tapu Koko/Malamar)
5) Aidyl (Passimian)
6) Zexuan (Gardevoir/Swampert)
7) Eugene (Decidueye/Leafeon)
8) Syafiq R (Ho-oh/Reshiram)
The Zygarde master is back at back at the top for Rauf too. The guy who made Zygarde famous, Klive finished 2nd in his first game back at EXT but with Garchomp/Lucario! His 3rd round match with Aidyl was one of the better matches I’ve seen, I wish I was able to stream it for the rest to see. The Malamars are starting to show back up against with both versions, the new Marshadow variant and the spread deck variant comprising of Shining Lugia, Tapu Koko and that damn Shrine of Punishment.
29th September – Metagame (13 players) Pro-Circuit Points
1) Andy (Zoroark/Lycanroc)
2) Irvin (Buzzwole/Naganadel)
3) Marcus (Metagross)
4) Aidyl (Passimian)
5) Kian Chong (Zoroark/Lycanroc)
6) Jeremy (Passimian)
7) Joey (Buzzwole/Lycanroc)
8) Klive (Garchomp/Lucario)
So before the event and during our test sessions, my friend Andy and I had been testing Zoroark/Lycanroc out to see which of our versions worked best and we both agreed mine was. So we spent some time trying to improve his deck’s consistency and I kept telling him how good Great Ball was from testing. He went with it and yup, took 3 wins that day. Glad I can help others improve their decks, wish I could do that for my own. Passimians were back at it again. Hard to say who did well from this table as some of the guys were gifted the wins to help them score more points for the Pro Circuit league but for sure Zoroark/Lycanroc won all 3 of it’s matches.
30th September – Brick’s Play (14 players) Pro-Circuit Points
1) Kash (Greninja/Volcanion)
2) Andy (Zoroark/Lycanroc)
3) Nazri (Buzzwole/Lycanroc)
4) Syafiq R (Ho-oh/Reshiram)
5) Lyn (Rayquaza/Vikavolt)
6) Ian (Buzzwole/Lycanroc)
7) Che Yu (Banette/Lucario)
8) Eujun (Empoleon/Swampert)
Woohoo! After 5 or 6 straight games of finishing with a miserable 1-2 record, I finally got 2 wins and better still, won all 3 rounds for once and with a fun deck no less! Been working on my Greninja-GX/Volcanion Prism Star deck idea for the longest time and gave it a go for the first time the day before where it got beat badly by Buzzwole. And the next day, my final game against Nazri’s Buzzwole might be one of my favourite matches so far. I had to think outside the box many times just to kill him off, using Tapu Lele GX and Volcanion Prism to do most of the damage while the Frog-line simply added more damage for me.
And the best part of that day was that the top 4 were legit there because they did well, no favours from anyone (unlike some people) so that’s always nice to see. And with Andy and Syafiq finishing in the top 4, they both squeezed in to the Top 16 on the last day to score points. Good way to end the Autumn season and get back to winning ways for myself. So after all that, here’s now the points looked like after the last round of games:
Of course Titally ends up first, 10 points ahead of 2nd place which was Aidyl and myself. In the end a lot more of the pro players did make it in and some of the casual players missed out. Congrats to those of you who made it in. The new season is underway and now there’s six league days in a week that will go into the next Pro-Circuit season. And I’m not a rich guy, I’m not even making any money yet so I can’t attend most of them so I’ll take it easy this time around, maybe not even care about the points. Also since I’m too busy with school, I might not have enough time to do any more updates like the ones I’ve done for the last few weeks. Oh well it’s been fun. There might be some exciting stuff happening soon too.
PTCG: Week 4 of new format, results in local leagues & Pro Circuit update, and my Pokebeach tourney update
Yup I’m jumping to Week 4 of the 2018-19 format since I went to only one event the week before as I was busying enjoying the F1 2018 Singapore Grand Prix weekend. So for this week I went to the 4 possible places I could play games with one casual league, two leagues with Pro Circuit points up for grabs and the first League Challenge of the new season.
And this time around I’ll post the top 8 finishers as we’ve been seeing a rise in players at all places! So it’s good to see more players joining the Pokemon TCG community here and joining us for some games, be it the serious ones for the Pro Circuit or the casual games (which I still prefer).
19th September – Sanctury Gaming (24 players)
1) Zexuan (Empoleon/Swampert)
2) Marcus (Buzzwole/Garbodor/Weavile)
3) Vincent L (Metagross/Ultra Necrozma)
4) Jaryl (Zoroark/Decidueye)
5) Nizel (Rayquaza/Vikavolt)
6) Shanisse (Blaziken/Marowak)
7) Kash (Zygarde/Lycanroc)
8) Che Yu (Banette/Weavile)
My Deck: Zygarde/Lycanroc
Round 1 vs Buzzwole/Lycanroc WW (Had the quicker set-up both times)
Round 2 vs Empoleon/Swampert LL (Horrible matchup, prize trade wasn’t fair for me and he kept getting a Turn 2 Swampert!)
Round 3 vs Marshadow/Malamar WW (Close game in the first round, opponent was stuck in the second game with no energy to accelerate)
Yup. Empoleon/Swampert took the win that day. I still don’t get how that deck was able to set-up so quickly. Very mixed top 8, all different style of decks! That is always nice to see rather than the same old decks finishing at the top (spoiler alert, it’s coming soon).
21st September – Project EXT (17 players) Pro Circuit Points
1) Rauf (Buzzwole/Lycanroc)
2) Syafiq R (Dusk Mane/Magnezone)
3) Titally (Goomy/Magcargo)
4) Luke (Marshadow/Malamar)
5) Zexuan (Zoroark/Golisopod)
6) Jun Hao (Marshadow/Malamar)
7) Harry (Ho-oh/Reshiram)
8) Nicholas (Tapu Bulu/Vikavolt)
My Deck: Ultra Necrozma/Malamar
Round 1 vs Dusk Mane Necrozma/Magnezone (LWL) My two loses were due to a Turn 2 Magnezone, can’t do much about that.
Round 2 vs Tapu Bulu/Vikavolt (LL) Nothing going on for me both games and I was smashed
Round 3 vs Zygarde/Lycanroc (LWW) First game I was stuck. Second game my opponent was stuck. Third game my opponent Judge me into everything I needed to take the win.
It’s the first day that Dragon Majesty set is legal and only one of the new decks was represented in the top 8, which was also the only new deck to show up. More of the Philly regional 2nd place finishing deck Marshadow/Malamar saw play today. But the biggest surprise had to be the Goomy deck that finished 3rd! The combo of Goomy’s ability, rainbow energy and hustle belt was hard for a few decks to deal with.
22nd September – Metagame (17 players) League Challenge
1) Kenneth (Zoroark/Lycanroc)
2) Titally (Buzzwole/Lycanroc)
3) Jeremy (Passimian/Tapu Koko)
4) Rauf (Buzzwole/Lycanroc)
5) Shafiq (Buzzwole/Lycanroc)
6) Wei Kit (Ho-oh/Reshiram)
7) Kash (Zygarde/Lycanroc)
8) Bertrand (Zoroark/Golisopod)
My Deck: Zygarde/Lycanroc
Round 1 vs Buzzwole/Lycanroc (WW) My opponent whiffed his beast ring twice and I got to take advantage of it.
Round 2 vs Metagross/Solgaleo (WW) Killing off his sole Solgaleo-GX in the field pretty much won me the game. Donked my opponent’s sole Beldum in Turn 2 in game 2.
Round 3 vs Passimian/Tapu Koko (LL) Horrible match-up for me, couldn’t keep up with the prize race. Misplayed in attaching the fighting energy on the wrong person which cost me a possbile win in that 2nd round.
Round 4 vs Buzzwole/Lycanroc (WLW) Close games all 3 times, last game my opponent whiffed his energy which won me the game. His late game Judge also helped me.
Round 5 vs Buzzwole/Garbodor (WLL) Game 1 I KOed all of his pokemon with ease. Awkard start in Game 2, never recovered. Game 3 I whiffed my energy to get me the win. Yeah I got beat by a kid, costing me a top 4 finish.
It was a fighting domination. 16 of the 24 decks all had fighting type attackers and once again Zoroark and Buzzwole ruled the roost with Lycanroc the MVP for many decks, including mine with Zygarde! I will say even though I was disappointed to miss out on a top 4 finish, I’m still very happy to get that 7th place finish, because it meant for the first time since playing the game over 2 years ago, I’ve scored championship points from a top finish. Finally something happened for me. Hopefully the first of many.
23rd September – Brick’s Play (20 players) Pro Circuit Points
1) Eujun (Empoleon/Swampert)
2) Walter (Zoroark/Lycanroc)
3) Kenneth (Zoroark/Lycanroc)
4) Zexuan (Zoroark/Lycanroc)
5) Joey (Buzzwole/Lycanroc)
6) Wei Kit (Ho-oh/Reshiram)
7) Nicholas (Marshadow/Malamar)
8) Shanisse (Blaziken/Marowak)
My Deck: Tapu Bulu/Vikavolt
Round 1 vs Zoroark/Lycanroc (LL) No turn 2 vikavolt set-up and once I started with Lele.
Round 2 vs Zoroark/Banette (LL) Again no turn 2 vikavolt and both times I started with Lele.
Round 3 vs Zygarde/Lycanroc (WW) Type advantage for me despite missing the turn 2 vikavolt and starting with Lele yet again in game 1. Game 2 finally got a proper start and had to be the last damn game that it happened.
The one day I decide not to play Zygarde, I get all the Zoroark decks. I was going to give my Metagross/Ultra Necrozma deck a try but then all the pro players showed up and well I panicked and switched to Bulu at the last minute not realizing by Zygarde deck was sleeved up too. D’oh. My friends and I also got a few games of Mario Kart in, which is always fun. I won. 😁
Once again Lycanroc dominates with the Zoroark variants taking the top spots. Yes I know the Empoleon/Swampert deck finished 1st but from what I saw, the player asked his opponent to give him the win after he lost because he needed the points so yeah not a legitimate 1st place in my view. He might have done the same in the last game too since his opponent was safely in the top 8 as well.
Another week done and yet again the meta is changing, I still have no idea what I should look out for the most. The old favorites have risen again while the Shrine decks and Rayquaza has fallen out of favour for a bit. We’ve got another 4 more games coming up this week for the Pro Circuit league days and of course the usual casual game on Wednesday so I might be playing 5 times in 5 days this week! So here’s the updated points standings after Sunday’s games.
Not many may know but I’ve also joined Pokebeach’s monthly online tournament since last month, mainly to test myself and this month I went with the Zygarde/Lycanroc deck I created while on my holiday in Japan and it has served me really well in this tourney, as it did on Saturday’s League Challenge too. At the moment I have a 5/1/0 record with a good chance to get in the top cut of 8 players. Depending on who I draw next in round 7, I could find myself in a position to ID my next match (agree to a draw) or find myself in a must win match against someone who might not be safe too. 12 guys are left in the running to fight for the top 8 spots, this is what I believe the standings looks like.
The top 2 guys are quite safe to get away with an ID while the bottom two guys have to play out a win. Not counting their games, we’d find ourselves in a situation where 8 players are fighting for 6 spots so not all IDs are safe if one were to go that route. Never been in quite this situation myself but I suppose that’s how it goes in these Regionals and International events. I hope I get SquirtleRules haha.
And this is my Zygarde/Lycanroc deck that I’ve been using for the whole of this month’s tourney and a few of my league games. The idea was to go aggressive right off the bat, mainly with Zygarde. The combination of Diancie, Prof Kukui, Choice Band and even a flying flip or two from Tapu Koko to help make a few pokemon more easier for me to knock out. Also I experminated with a 1-1 line of Magcargo which has saved me in many games but may not be that important to be fair. I’m still working on improving my list and if anyone has any suggestions, I’m all ears. Have fun playing Pokemon TCG this week!
PTCG: Second week of new format, results in local leagues & a win-a-box tourney, Singapore Pro Circuit update, and some fun Worlds stats
It’s the second week and yeah nobody still has any idea of how to approach the new format but with results coming out of Australia and Brazil, we’re starting to have a little idea of what the meta might be for the next few months. Australia saw VikaRay dominate (as I thought it would) and in Brazil it was Buzzwole/Garbodor’s turn to shine with Shrine of Punishment.
We had a win-a-box event this past weekend at the STGCC event at Marina Bay at the GGXP area of the exhibition. Win a free box for someone like me who can’t afford one box? Might as well give it a go. Did more league games than usual too and I played in 5 events for 5 straight days. Fun eh? Here’s a short recap of the league games and what happened at the win-a-box tourney.
5th September – Sanctury Gaming (18 players)
1) Anselm (Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX/Magnezone)
2) Liang Jun (Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt)
3) Andy (Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt)
4) Harry (Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt)
5) Jaryl (Gardevoir-GX/Swampert)
My deck: Zygarde-GX/Lycanroc-GX (6th)
R1 vs Gardevoir/Swampert (Yeah bad matchup, Garde just eats up on my heavily energized Zygardes and even my Lycanroc). LWL
R2 vs Gardevoir/Sylveon (Another Garde but this time my opponent had a tough time to set up unlike the previous opponent). LWW
R3 vs Buzzwole/Lycanroc (Two close games, managed to escape the beast ring both times. My sole Magcargo was my MVP in this round).
Yup. Rayquaza domination, what a surprise. More Zoroark decks were showing up again but of the 4 VikaRay decks in action, 3 of them were in the top 4, need I say more? Gardevoir saw more play too but other than my friend Jaryl, the rest struggled.
6th September – Metagame (5 players) Pro-Circuit Points
1) Kash (Ultra Necrozma-GX/Malamar)
2) Irvin (Naganadel-GX/Stakatak-GX)
3) Joey (Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX)
4) Bobby (Metagross-GX)
5) Reuben (Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt)
R1 vs Buzzwole/Lycanroc (Interest matchup with this new version of BuzzLycan, won’t say it to keep the surprise for others. Thankfully the psychic weakness helped me out.) LWW
R2 vs Metagross (First match I had no real set-up. Second match Ultra Necrozma killed all the Beldums. Almost the same story game 3. It also did a one-shot on a Metagross). LWW
R3 vs Naganadel/Stakataka (Good matchup for me because my opponent was heavily reliant on his Naganadel and yup, it has psychic weakness). WW
Only 5 of us here so can’t say much. But at least now I can say I’ve topped a league game at Metagame for once! Was also my first time there in a long while, was always nervous to go there because of how good all the players are but a good place to test myself against the pros.
7th September – Sanctury Gaming (18 players)
1) Mason (Zoroark-GX/Gardevoir-GX)
2) Bertrand (Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX)
3) Sean (Gardevoir-GX/Sylveon-GX)
4) Eugene (Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt)
5) Che Yu (Banette-GX/Weavile)
My deck: Tapu Bulu-GX/Vikavolt (7th)
R1 vs Rayquaza/Vikavolt (Pretty much whoever got a Vikavolt up first won. I lost because I whiffed my last grass energy) WLL
R2 vs Dusk Mane Necrozma/Magnezone (Both times my friend had troubles setting up his Magnezone and I took advantage of it both times) WW
R3 vs Scizor/Raticate (Weird deck but luckily for me my opponent had no answer to my constant strong charges) WW
Zoroark is back apparently. This event was set-up as a warm-up for those of us going for the win-a-box tourney so I played my back-up deck VikaBulu just to see how it’d do and it went alright, all 3 matches were winnable. Zoroark took the top 2 spots and was the most popular deck that day. Lots more metal decks showing up, and two other Malamar decks showed up, been a while since I saw a few more. Gardevoir had a strong showing too with two different versions of the deck even though there was only one VikaRay deck that day.
8th September – GGXP Win-A-Box Tournament (19 players)
1) Suikai (Zoroark-GX/Garbodor)
2) Titally (Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX)
3) Wei Kit (Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX)
4) Rauf (Buzzwole/Garbodor/Weavile)
5) Kian Chong (Zoroark-GX/Oranguru)
6) Irvin (Naganadel-GX/Stakataka-GX/Pheromosa-GX)
7) Syafiq R (Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX/Magnezone)
8) Joey (Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX)
9) Richard (Zoroark-GX/Banette-GX)
10) Keith (Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX)
11) Kash (Zygarde-GX/Lycanroc-GX)
12) Liang Jun (Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt)
13) Hong Jhun (Metagross-GX/Solgaleo-GX)
14) Bobby (Metagross-GX)
15) Edwards (Garchomp/Lucario)
16) Rizduan (Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX/Magnezone)
17) Aidyl (Buzzwole/Garbodor/Weavile)
18) Seth (Metagross-GX/Garbodor)
19) Nelson (Metagross-GX/Scizor-GX)
Zoroark is still good apparently. Of the 5 Zoroark players we had that day, 3 of them made the top cut and the other 2 just missed out on the top cut. But even more stranger, only one Rayquaza in a field of 19 players and ZERO Gardevoir decks. I was expecting more of the previous two but that didn’t happen. In fact, there were 7 metal decks in the field and yeah when I told them there were no Gardevoirs around, the look on their faces said it all. Only one of them made the top cut too but it was the Dusk Mane who can get a one-hit KO on a lot of Pokemon.
It was a fun event but on my part I had a miserable time. First match went alright, everything went perfectly for me against my friend Aidyl. Bad matchup for him too. Second match against Irvin was actually alright even though he had TWO Pheromosa in his deck! Of course I meet the one deck that had a grass attack when the other 17 decks bar one had any grass attackers.
It still was a winnable match but I whiffed the last Guzma for the win. I took three turns looking for it and it never showed up. Third game I just crumbled, still bothered by my last game and I couldn’t handle the power of Buzzwole. Both times I fell for the Beast Ring trap. First event I got a 1-2 record and it had to be the one with the bigger prize. All that playtesting and testing online only to scrub badly. Still not good at this game.
Got to see most of the top cut matches. The Buzz/Garb/Weavile deck looked really good, well played by Rauf. He was just really unluck against Suikai. Whiffed a choice band when he needed it and then that last rainbow energy to take the win. The Buzzwole/Lycan vs Zoro/Goli was another good match and yeah Zoroark won that one, not bad at all.
9th September – Sanctury Gaming (14 players) – Pro Circuit Points
1) Walter (Metagross-GX)
2) Liang Jun (Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt)
3) Wei Kit (Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX)
4) Kash (Tapu Bulu-GX/Vikavolt)
5) Syafiq (Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX/Magnezone)
R1 vs DM Necrozma/Magnezone (I got my set-up going up first in games 1 and 3, those won me the round. No set-up on my part in game 2) WLW
R2 vs Metagross (Horrible match-up, Bulu’s worst of any deck) LL
R3 vs Banette/Weavile (My opponent’s Shrine of Punishment actually helped me get some big KOs, so that didn’t work). WW
Including a Zoroark-Decidueye deck that finished 6th, 5 of the top 6 were all Stage 2 decks! Who says they’re a horrible play? And on top of that, Metagross finished 1st! Walter’s version was able to set-up really quickly which puzzled me. I’ve tried every sort of list for my own Metagross deck and I could never have it set-up as consistently as he did in both our match. By turn 3 there were 3 Metagross up and ready both times! Of course this was also the event we saw the first Lugia/Malamar and the Buzz/Garb shrine deck saw more play but still they didn’t do as well as I thought.
So after two weeks, we still have no idea what’s the meta like, who really are the best decks and what will be the most popular decks (it keeps changing). One thing is for sure, I’ve settled on my lists for my main decks and since I’ll start classes again, I probably won’t be trying new ideas out for a bit. And here’s an updated points for the Pro Circuit, not counting the results from Metagame on Wednesday since I wasn’t there and no update from EXT so this isn’t official but the best I could draft up.
Got a few more useless stats, this time from Worlds. I was bored and curious on where and how the Day 2 players were doing from their individual regions and to see which decks did well. I know it’s a bit redundant since we’re in a new format but what the heck.
123 players made it to Day 2 of worlds, mainly made up of players from the United States (48), Japan (12), Australia (10), United Kingdom (7) and Germany (5) to name the ones with at least 5. And big congrats to the 4 Singaporeans Klive, Clifton, Joey and Reuben for making it to Day 2. The four most popular pokemon in decks were Buzzwole (50 decks), Garbodor (40 decks), Zoroark (36 decks) and Lycanroc (34 decks).
The Zoroark-GX variant had the most representatives, 36 players with 17 of them going with the Garbodor version, 8 being the “control” version with Oranguru and the rest being Golisopod (4), Lycanroc (2), Gallade (2), Missmagius (2) and Lucario (1).
The Lycanroc-GX variant was the next most popular with 33 players, almost all but 2 of them going with Buzzwole-GX. One being Lucario who was the last placed of the 123 players and the other of course was Zygarde at the other extreme, 3rd place!
The Shrine variant made it’s debut at Worlds and 22 players was not a bad showing, 19 of them going with the Buzzwole from Forbidden Light and the other 3 with Banette-GX. The other new variant making it’s debut was the most hyped card from Celestial Storm, Rayquaza-GX with 15 players in Day 2 going with it. It also had the most representation in top 8 cut with 3 players. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next Worlds championship.
Last week we had our first few games under the new rotation from the Sun & Moon block and it sure made for some interesting games. While I was on holiday in Japan, I had been testing a few different lists to get myself ready for the new format, mainly testing with Zygarde/Lycanroc, Vikavolt/Tapu Bulu, Ultra Necrozma/Malamar, Metagross and a few friends, Dusk Mane Necrozma/Magnezone, Solgaleo-GX and Greninja GX. Yup, no Zoroark testing from me so far, more interested in those for now.
Also something new is happening around the local scene here, we now have a Singapore Pro-Circuit league going on with Project EXT, Metagame and Brick’s Play all hosting events where you can score points to possibly be invited for the top 32 invitational and win big prizes (yay our own points chase just like the pros).
For this season (July-September), it’s a top 32 invitational event. The top 8 players get two byes for the event, 9th to 16th gets one bye and the rest has to fight it out the whole way. It gives us some incentive to get the first 8 spots, and yup I’m going to try and keep my spot there. It used to be just EXT’s own leagues but now there’s two more places to go. I expected a major drop in the standings for me having missed 3 weeks but looking at the standings on August 31st, I didn’t lose out that much.
The way our pro circuit points work is as such, everyone who enters get 1 point, and for every win you get is an additional point (for example if you got a 2-1 record, 3 points for you). A tie is as bad as a loss.
This week the 3 leagues I went to was EXT on Friday and Saturday (Joey was away so Metagame was closed) and Bricks Play on Sunday. Here’s a short recap of who did well and how my matches were like for all 3 days.
31st August – Project EXT (15 players)
1) Anselm (Solgaleo-GX)
2) Rauf (Zygarde-GX/Lycanroc-GX)
3) Eugene (Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt)
4) Mason (Zoroark-GX/Gardevoir-GX)
5) Kash (Tapu Bulu-GX/Vikavolt)
R1 vs Greninja-GX/Spread WW (Greninja has weakness to Tapu Bulu so it was a poor matchup for my friend)
R2 vs Zygarde-GX/Lycanroc-GX LWL (A winnable match but I misplayed a number of times. Seems like game rust is a thing too)
R3 vs Zoroark-GX/Ninetales-GX WW (Perfect set-up both times to kill off both his main threats)
From the first game and testing online, I could tell that Rayquaza/Vikavolt is the deck to beat in this format right now. It’s incriedbly quick and most of the time you will get your idea set-up, if not the first try, most certainty the second try. Of the 15 of us, there were at least 10 different decks. And interestingly enough, Solgaleo-GX came out on top, one of the few I tested while on holiday and for some reason one of the more consistent decks I tested too, which is strange for a stage 2 deck and I’ve played Metagross countless of times.
1st September – Project EXT (9 players)
1) Titally (Naganadel-GX/Stakataka-GX)
2) Kash (Ultra Necrozma-GX/Malamar)
3) Kian Chong (Zoroark-GX/Magcargo)
4) Rizduan (Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX/Magnezone)
5) Rauf (Buzzwole/Weavile)
R1 vs Tapu Bulu-GX/Vikavolt WLW (Close games in the first two, third game my opponent couldn’t set up at all, I kept attack all of his Grubbins)
R2 vs Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX WW (Dawn Wings Necrozma was my MVP in both games)
R3 vs Garchomp/Lucario WW (Opponent had a hard time dealing with Ultra Necrozma in both games)
No Rayquaza or Gardevoir this time around so out came the Ultra Beasts, all but one in the top 5 had an Ultra Beast pokemon as the main attacker. So still no real answer as to how the meta is shaping up from our games here but on the day itself, Melbourne SPE was ongoing so we kept up with what was going on. No surprised that Rayquaza won but Dusk Mane Necrozma finished 2nd (with Ribombee, something I had tested with too but wasn’t too convinced about it at first). Zoroarks were still doing good and Malamar decks had strong showings too, which was good news for me.
2nd September – Bricks Play (13 players)
1) Lynn (Gardevoir-GX/Sylveon-GX)
2) Kash (Zygarde-GX/Lycanroc-GX)
3) Andy (Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt)
4) Eujun (Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX)
5) Bertrand (Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX)
R1 vs Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt LWW (Last two games my opponent only had one Grubbin and I went after it and he couldn’t set up after that)
R2 vs Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt LWL (Same story, I went after the Grubbins but my friend had two up in the final game and I couldn’t keep up with the speed of VikaRay this time around)
R3 vs Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX WW (Very close games, went after the Rockruffs this time and it worked out well. Lycanroc my MVP in both games. Had to GX in my second turn in the second game and by turn 4 it got me 4 prizes).
So with Rayquaza running around, of course Gardevoir would make a comeback and take the win this time. I had the unfortunate honour of having to play 2 of the 3 VikaRay players back to back and at least I got one win out of it. It was mainly Vikavolt, Lycanroc and Metagross decks that day.
Three days with three different decks, mostly all good but at least I know now that I have to make my decks counter both Rayquaza and Gardevoir, both are easily the deck to beat at the moment. I also managed to keep up the Pro-Circuit points by updating my own standings and if I got it all correct, this is how everything shapes up after the first week of September.
Titally (catch me outside) extends his lead at the top by 4 points. 2nd to 6th are still really close but those of us in there should be safe for the top 8 spots for now. 8th place is still up for grabs, now my dude Rizduan is holding on to that spot. It’s even close for the 1 bye spots, 16th to 18th are all tied on points! Another 3 more weeks to go and sadly I’ll miss next Wednesday’s event at Metagame so if I do make a points update, it won’t be accurate. Next week will be interesting, we’ve got a win-a-box tourney hosted by EXT at the GGXP event at SGTCC in MBS. Yup lots of initials there. Hopefully I’ll do one better this time around and get two wins unlike last year’s event also at SGTCC (hosted by Qisahn then).
The new rotation is underway which means everything changes. Gone are staple cards like Prof Sycamore, N, Float Stone and Octillery and in comes Tate & Liza, Copycat, Escape Board and Magcargo to potentially take their place? But before moving on to the new format, I’ll look back at the previous format with some fun (potentially useless) stats for those who might be interested.
I’ve actually been keeping track of how all of my league games have been going just to see what match-ups were good and what decks were doing well and who was doing well.
Later on I started to keep up with what was going on internationally and wanted to make a system to tell by numbers what was the best deck at that time and I did this idea of scoring points for decks in SPEs, Regionals, Internationals and Worlds. (10 points for 1st, 6p for 2nd, 3p for 3rd & 4th and 1p for 5th to 8th). There wasn’t much info for the first quarter.
The 2nd quarter of the year sees Crimson Invasion in play and with that the introduction of Buzzwole-GX who made the biggest impact in the meta, scoring the most points from the big events, just 2 ahead of the old favourite Zoroark-Golisopod (which had the most tournament wins in this quarter). But on average points, it was Zoroak-Gardevoir with 6.5 points thanks to it’s strong showing at the Oceania Internationals late on in this quarter.
The same two decks dominated in the third quarter, this time Buzzwole/Lycanroc was ahead on points by almost double of what the next deck had and scoring 9 tournament wins out of the 21 recorded by the good folks at Limitless. Ignoring the one-time win for Lucario-Lycanroc in it’s one an only top 8 appearance and Zoroark-Weavile scoring most of it’s points in the first event with a mirror match in the final, Volcanion had a strong showing for those who had 5 or more top 8 finishes.
The emergence of Malamar decks in the 4th quarter didn’t stop Buzzwole/Lycanroc from topping the most points chart again but it was much closer with Psychic/Malamar taking over 2nd spot from Zoroark/Garbodor. Interestingly enough, Zygarde/Lycanroc had the best average for decks that had at least more than 5 top 8 finishes, mainly thanks to our local player Klive who did well at Malaysia Regional, Singapore SPE and the World Championship, top 3 in all 3 of those events.
And what did it look like overall? (Including some events from Q1, only counting those decks that had a final appearance in tournaments).
Yup no surprises there that Buzzwole/Lycanroc was the deck scoring the most points. It was easily the most popular deck for most of the season and winning most of the time too, locally and internationally. But of course, Zygarde/Lycanroc had the best average score again (of those with at least 5 top 8 finishes again to be fair). The deck is good, I should know having been Klive’s and Rauf’s test dummies in it’s early stages.
And yup I do have some stats for events that happened locally too.
Surprise! It’s not Buzzwole/Lycanroc at the top this time. Zoroark/Golisopod was easily the most popular deck here in Singapore during the previous format and yes I too did give it a go (not as good as others as you’ll see later). But the bigger surprise is seeing Tapu Bulu/Vikavolt in 2nd. Maybe a surprise to many others but not to me here and it’s a popular deck in this region, and it was for the most part of the season my most successful deck too. Of course Zygarde/Lycanroc is up there alright despite only showing up in the last quarter. I covered only the top 12 decks to save space.
And now for the players, some you may have heard before but most you probably don’t unless you’re from around here.
And from our weekly league games and league challenges, here’s how most of us did on points (of those of us who were in at least 6 league games and for the record I didn’t record down everything, just working with whatever I managed to get. Also I didn’t always attend, I skipped most of December, early January, May and August due to holidays and exams).
The top 5 with the best winning % was Alex, Bertrand, Rauf, Jun Hao and Titally. As for the top 5 with the best points average, it was Alex (again), Rauf, Titally, Klive and Daniel. Looking at the win records and I guess you can tell who are our best players here in Singapore if you add things up from this last season. But then again, some of the best players I know never always had the best results so it still doesn’t really show who truly were the best players in our little island.
And now for my own personal stats. First of all these are decks I used all season, including Special Events and League Cups to go with the others.
VikaBulu was the deck that gave me the most wins this past season. It took me a while to play this deck but once I did it quickly became my favourite deck. Ultra Necrozma/Malamar was another that became a favourite of mine after trying it a few times. Volcanion became a late favourite in the last few weeks, I wish I had played it more during the season. As you can tell from the decks I play, most of them are what you would call energy acceleration decks, those suit my playstyle. And of course the Zoroark variants which was quite easy to play to be fair.
Zygarde/Lycanroc was my most succesful deck wins rate wise as I only lost once in 9 matches with it. I learned from the best (Rauf and Klive) and it also became one of my new favourite decks. In fact it’s one of the first decks I tested out post rotation. Of and if you notice, no signs for Buzzwole/Lycanroc, Zoroark/Garbodor, Zoroark/Oranguru and any mill/wall decks. Didn’t have any interest in playing the so-called best decks in the format and I hate mill/wall decks with a passion that I would never ever consider them.
And there we go, some pointless but interesting stats for the past season in Pokemon TCG. If you read it all, thanks and I apologise if it wasn’t all that interesting.
Celestial Storm is out now and as per usual we had the pre-releases a few weeks before the set was to be released. Unlike most of the pro players, I do enjoy these pre-release events, playing in a fun setting and making decks on the fly. But these few ones were a bit different. Celestial Storm had Metagross in the pre-release kit and a very playble Swampert too. The chances of getting them are 66.67% and I was going to three. I’m surely bound to get them in at least two events.
That never happened. Instead I got the worst kit possible two times (the Delcatty/Swalot and Manectric/Lanturn sets) on back to back Sundays. And I got nothing playable in my 4 packs to make the deck any good so I was stuck with what I got. At least I got my Metagross line on the EXT event and that might have been the best pre-release deck I ever played. Shame that was the only good thing out of the 3 pre-release events. My pulls weren’t even that good for once haha!
Event #1 @ Sanctuary Gaming (22nd July)
Game 1: Win vs Swampert/Lanturn
Lucky me most of my opponent’s pokemons only had one attack which is when I realised Swalot is not a bad counter against most of the pre-release decks since Metagross, Manectric, Swampert and Lanturn all only have one attack. I should have lost this match but my opponent wasn’t careful with his “trading” using Swamper’s ability and a late move to use Underground Expedition cost him, because now it meant he’d deck out first and I still had him locked with Swalot.
Game 2: Lose vs Metagross/Stakataka-GX
This was an ass-kicking. I got an early nest ball so I got to do a deck search to see what was prized and my three main attackers were all prized. There was no chance I’d win this game and my friend went on to swipe the field. Here’s picture proof of those horrible prizes.
Game 3: Win vs Metagross/Swampert
Once again Swalot was the MVP here. Locking my opponent till the point he felt the need to bring up a bulky Celesteela to try to deck me out but I had other ideas, using Banette to snipe the rest of his field and pick up my last two prizes that way.
So yeah that rubbish deck managed to get 2 wins out of nowhere! I even told one of the pro Singapore players (Clifton) that I had no confidence that I’d get a win out of this deck and he looked through it and told me just to play my game and I might surprise myself and I did! What he said after the event was true too, it says a lot about a player if he can get 2 wins out of what was thought to be a bad deck so that did cheer me up abit. I did get one Steven’s Resolve from my prize packs, 3 more to go till my new Metagross deck is up and running.
Event #2 @ Project EXT (27th July)
I was all smiles the moment I saw the Celesteela promo, it was a 100% sure thing I’d get my Metagross line I was after. I included Manectric in the hopes to power up Celesteela with Manectric’s attack which allows you to attach 2 basic energy cards from your hand to a benched pokemon. Already thinking of creative combos for this set and I’d get to try this one in this pre-release.
Game 1: Win vs Swalot/Delcatty
I was first up against one of my friends and we jokingly said we’d be paired up for the first round and it actually happened. I got Manectric straight away and Celesteela so the combo was working right off. I did need the help of my secret tech of a Wingull to help me get out of certain situations, namely sleep.
Game 2: Lose vs Metagross/Swampert
This was a case of who won the coin toss and sadly my opponent won so it meant he got his Metagross up before I did and I couldn’t stop it.
Game 3: Win vs Metagross/Lanturn
Another mirror match but this time my opponent could not set up their Metagross so I swept their field with mine while charging up my Celesteela for the last few prizes. I even got to use Last Chance Potion at one point!
I have to say that deck might be the best pre-release deck I ever made and played. It worked so smoothly almost everytime. The Celesteela/Manectric combo is something I might experiment with for real too and of course, it’s always good to use one of my favourite pokemon in a tournament. I’ve been lucky enough to use a few of my favourites in pre-releases (Crobat, Noivern-GX, Gengar, Ultra Necrozma-GX and now Metagross). If only Hitmonlee ever showed up in one.
Event #3 @ Brick’s Play (29th July)
The moment I saw Delcatty, I was praying for either Metagross or Swampert to show up next if not I could build my deck right away. Sadly neither one did show up so my deck on that Sunday was pretty much the same as the previous one but with an addition of Tropius to counter Swamperts.
Game 1: Lose vs Swampert/Registeel/Scizor-GX
Three heavy hitters in my opponent’s deck and I got zero heavy hitter. Quite one sided but I managed to drag that match to make it way closer than it had every right to be which was none.
Game 2: Lose vs Metagross/Cacturne
This time I was the one who decked out, forgetting I had no Tate & Liza in this deck so Delcatty was actually rather useless in this deck. Couldn’t do much about the psychic resistance my opponent had on me.
Game 3: Win vs Swampert/Kyogre
I beat my opponent in about 4 turns. All he had was a Kyogre and Mudkip and all I had was Swalot but it’s combo of moves killed the two of them off easily.
So there we go, the worst pre-release is done. So while everyone kept getting either Metagross or Swampert, I only had the Metagross line once and never got to try the Swampert line at all. I wish I could share my pulls but it really wasn’t much. Electrode GX, Scizor GX and Alolan Raticate GX from three events. Yup. On to the next one.
So the Singapore Special Event weekend is over at the Suntec Exhibition hall and I have to say I had a lot of fun this weekend, and it may have been my best weekend playing the game. My aim for the SPE was just to make sure I don’t have more losses and hopefully be in the top half. And it happened but better than I expected! So there was 3 events for me during the weekend:
- Project EXT Spring Season Top 16 Invitational on Friday
- Singapore Special Event on Saturday
- League Cup (best of 1 round) on Sunday
During the two weeks prior I had been testing both Ultra Necrozma/Malamar and Tapu Bulu/Vikavolt trying to see which would be the better choice for me and I can tell easily Ultra Necrozma was the better choice. So I went with it for Friday. I wasn’t expecting to make it out of the first round.
Knockout Round: vs Zoroark/Lycanroc LWW
First game I had nothing going on, couldn’t make a comeback. Second round I was leading when I made an honest mistake, took a prize penalty but thankfully I was able to finish off the game. Third game my opponent was stuck and I took it.
Quarter Final: vs Greninja BREAK WW
I was expecting to lose this one since I had no counter for Greninja decks in my deck. No Fighting Fury Belt or Giratina. But as per usual, my opponent bricked and both times I took it because he couldn’t get his set-up going.
Semi Final: vs Buzzwole/Lycanroc LL
Even with type advantage I fell for the trap of Buzzwole Jr, which punishes you if you have exactly 4 prizes. Both times he made me play the 4 prize game and both times I was sucked into it. It was a good match though.
And for finishing in the top 4, something I wasn’t expecting, I got myself a brand new playmat. Everyone else got the Top 16 playmat (which was a lot nicer) and 2 others had the Top 4 and the champion got the Champion’s playmat. Here’s the top 4 playmat.
And now for the Singapore Special Event, and I stuck with my original list that I had written on Wednesday. I did take out Beast Ring initially for Parallel City but changed it back last minute.
Round 1: vs Zygarde/Lycanroc LWL 0/1/0 – 0 points
I obviously knew of this deck having tested with the two guys who made it famous not just in our region but now all around the world (Rauf and Klive) so I knew this would be a tough match. And my opponent ended the day just outside the top 8 so I had one of the better guys right off the start. First game he killed my set-up. Second game he was stuck.
And then came the third game. My starting hand consisted an Inkay, two Sycamores and three Malamars. I was praying for a top draw N or Cynthia and guess what I got? A third Sycamore. I had to throw it all away to avoid a donk. I somehow managed to make a game out of it with no Malamars until 2 prizes to go but it was a little too late.
Round 2: vs Zoroark/Golisopod LL 0/2/0 – 0 points
And it gets even tougher, now my opponent was someone who did make it into the top 8 (top 4 in fact). His ZoroGoli deck was too good. Way too quick for me to handle even with he had a poor start in the first match. He still came back to win it. I couldn’t get the clean KO because of his Acerolas and his Golisopods kept taking out my Malamars. Good learning experience from one of the best in this region.
Round 3: vs Lunala/Malamar WW 1/2/0 – 3 points
And after two losses I finally got a match against a friend and I knew about her deck and thankfully my deck was much quicker to set-up. Her Lunala did cause some problems but Ultra Necrozma came to the rescue with the Beast Ring.
Round 4: vs Ultra Necrozma/Malamar LL 1/3/0 – 3 points
Now for a mirror match. This was all about who can get the set-up first and sadly both times my opponent got his set-up going first. The second game was much closer and I needed just one more turn to take the second round but my opponent got the Psychic Energy and Choice Band he needed to pick up the win. I was feeling good after the match, 3 losses in 4 matches, not what I hoped for coming into this event.
Round 5: vs Buzzwole/Lycanroc WW 2/3/0 – 6 points
FINALLY. After 4 games I finally got the BuzzLycan match I wanted. It was always going to be the most popular deck at the event and the best deck in the game. But I knew I could beat it. Both games were close but I managed to take it thanks to playing the number game. The new Buzzwole decks are using the non-GX attackers and so I decided to use my non-GX attackers, Latios, Mew and even Malamar itself. I put a Latios in my deck to counter both Buzzwoles and in this round it was my MVP.
Round 6: vs ??? W 3/3/0 – 9 points
My opponent never showed up so I got the win. I tested with my friend against his Metagross deck with Metal Frying Pan and I took it down just by powering up my Ultra Necrozma to have 3 psychic energies (sometimes even 4) for 260 damage (or 340).
Round 7: vs Necrozma/Malamar LWW 4/3/0 – 12 points
We had to wait till the next day for our final match in swiss round but it was worth it. A really close match between the two different Necrozma decks. My opponent took it the first game, I took it the second game and he had the slower start in 3rd round. It came down to an Inkay Hypnosis for him to stall one turn and win him the game. Luckily I flipped heads for the awakening and the win. Probably the best game of the 7 I played.
From being 1-3 after 4 rounds, I was super psyched that I got 3 wins in a row to turn it around to make it a 4-3 score. The first big Pokemon TCG tournament that I had more wins than losses and I did achieve my two goals, more wins than losses and top half of the table, 26th out of the 71 players. Good learning experience playing and meeting guys from around the region, from here in Singapore to players from Malaysia, Indonesia, Phillipines, Taiwan and even a top American player came down to get his points for the world championship. It was cool to meet Chris, he’s the guy that gave me hope in Metagross, a deck I used non-stop from August of last year for about 4 months.
Top 8 for the Singapore SPE:
1) Shane Chee – Zoroark/Lucario
2) Klive Aw – Zygarde/Lycanroc
3) Patrick Ebio – Zoroark/Golisopod
4) Clifton Goh – Buzzwole/Lycanroc
5) Colin Tang – Buzzwole/Lycanroc
6) Christopher Schemanske – Buzzwole/Lycanroc
7) Joey Ho – Greninja BREAK
8) Perry Lim – Greninja BREAK
Next up was the League Cup for those of us who didn’t make the top 8 cut for the Special Event. I was going to play a Solagaleo/Turtonator deck that my friend Rauf came up with but I didn’t get my Burning energy in time and my back-up plan was Trevenant/Malamar but I didn’t bring some of the cards I needed so next back-up was Tapu Bulu/Vikavolt. Sadly it doesn’t fare well in the current format but I had some fun matches.
R1: vs Buzzwole/Lycanroc L 0/1/0 – 0 points
R2: vs Buzzwole/Lycanroc L 0/2/0 – 0 points
R3: vs Latios/Garbodor W 1/2/0 – 3 points
R4: vs Glaceon/Ninetales W 2/2/0 – 6 points
R5: vs Leafeon/Decidueye L 2/3/0 – 6 points
R6: vs Ultra Necrozma/Malamar W 3/3/0 – 9 points
The only reason why I won my last match because my opponent couldn’t set-up his Malamar, the first one only came up when I had 4 prizes. I should have won my Round 2 match but my opponent N’ed me at the right time, I couldn’t comeback from that. Round 4 was my friend, who I played in the 3rd round in swiss round. We both played different decks both days.
So it was a fun weekend, top 4 finish on Friday, 26th out of 71 players on Saturday and 19th out of 41 players. Couldn’t have asked for a better weekend, I can feel I’m getting better at the game. Progress made, hopefully more to come.
You read it right, for once I didn’t just go to one pre-release, not my usual two events too, not even three events, but four pre-release events! Ok I was suckered into joining one earlier than planned but luckily that worked out, that was the best one in terms of pulls. But even with 4 events, this was the first set where I didn’t pull the pre-release promo I wanted, the Lucario promo. I did get it from a trade with someone at the last event but it sucks that I never did pull it myself.
I still had fun in all four of my events, and I managed to make different decks everytime even thought for the first three I got the Magnezone and Heatrans in either my evolution packs or my kit packs. Also I managed to spread out my dates where I’d visit 3 shops for the 4 dates, two of which were firsts for me when it comes to pre-releases. The first two ones were at Qisahn, the third one at Project ext and the last at Bricks Play (just 3 minutes away from my place), all nearby me. Yup, chose my spots according to those closest to me, why the heck not.
So the first deck idea was to use Heatran as the attacker and Magnezone as the supplier. Shaymin was there to set things up and because I pulled a Looker, Looker Whistle and Oranguru, I had to try to recycling tactic and it worked only a few times. Dialga’s GX, as amazing as it is, wasn’t that helpful all that much in all honesty. I’d say this was easily the worst of the 4 decks I built.
Pre-Release SM5 Event 1 @ Qisahn:
Round 1: vs Empoleon/Garchomp LOSE
Was depending on my Dialga so much in this match I forgot GXes still gave up two prizes so I was caught out by the Garchomp/Cynthia combo from my friend.
Round 2: vs Magnezone/SolgaleoPrismStar LOSE
I dead-drew the whole time, just couldn’t get anything going. Didn’t realise Solgaleo Prism Star’s first move allowed you to attach your energy however you liked, that’s a really good attack.
Round 3: vs Magnezone/Heatran WIN
Hey look a mirror match! I almost lost this game too but luckily Dialga saved me. The combo of Oranguru/Looker helped out big time here.
Round 4: vs Garchomp/Gumshoos WIN
The combo of Oranguru (again) and my Magnezone actually helped me to the win here, opponent couldn’t get out of confusion.
2 wins and 2 loses in the first event, not like me to do this badly in a pre-release. 12th out of 16th, not usual for me in a pre-release setting. But the pulls from my prize packs sure made up for the bad results! 2-2 for me.
The second deck was similiar to the first, Heatran with Magnezone but this time with the Garchomp line to give me a second strong attacker. The Cynthia-Garchomp combo is amazing, I will try to build that deck for real. Magnezone once again helped me out alot in my matches.
Pre-Release SM5 Event 2 @ Qisahn:
Round 1: vs Garchomp/Gumshoos WIN
Heatran donked my opponent in Turn 2. Got the Kukui out and knocked out Gible.
Round 2: vs Garchomp/Lucario LOSE
Very tough match, my opponent got the Lucario up in Turn 2 and then Garchomp in Turn 3 and that was it for me really. The combo was working so well even for a pre-release.
Round 3: vs Garchomp/Gumshoos WIN
Luckily for me I got my Garchomp set up first to knock out her Garchomp and she had no-one else set-up to counter my team.
Round 4: vs Garchomp/Empoleon WIN
My opponent dead drew so I took advantage of it, Heatran once again with the early pressure for the win.
The combo of Garchomp and Heatran worked nicely for me. As long as I had Magnezone up, everything would be fine. And both could get quick KOs with how their attacks are. And yes I really did play against four Garchomp decks that deck. 9th out of 27th, that’s a bit better but still not up there. 3-1 for me.
The third deck was….yup you guessed it, Heatran with Magnezone yet again but this time I got the Gumshoos promo and I knew how good it was against me so I had to try it out. Also gave the Electirive line a try knowing there’ll be lots of Metals but I never did make use of them.
Pre-Release SM5 Event 3 @ Project EXT:
Round 1: vs Garchomp/Gumshoos/Dialga WIN
Gumshoos on fire here. Takes out two Gibles and then Dialga for a rather quick win, even though I picked up all four prizes.
Round 2: vs Electirive/Heatran LOSE
I had no set-up for this one, just waiting on my Electirive to show up but it never did so my opponent killed me off.
Round 3: vs Garchomp/Gumshoos WIN
Once again I’m paried up with my friend Shan. We tend to always play against one another in pre-releases or even the usual weekly leagues. I knew she had a Magmar in her deck so I tried not to use Heatran. Gumshoos once again gave me the easy win, she couldn’t set up.
Round 4: vs Garchomp/Empoleon WIN
This time it was Heatran who was wrecking house for me, picking up the early KOs for the win.
This deck actually worked really nicely. Both Gumshoos and Heatran could easily take early KOs with their two energy attacks and that’s even before Magenzone shows up. The guy I lost too, we played some friendly games and yup I beat him so my deck was alright for today. Didn’t see where I finished but I believe it was 8th of around 26 to 30 players. 3-1 for me, again.
The fouth deck was different to the rest, no Magnezone or Heatran for once! It was a straight Gumshoos-Garchomp deck with a secret Magmar tech to counter the Metal types. Never really did use it because I faced two Empoleon decks haha. But that deck did run very smoothly, and for once I pulled a lot of trainers so I had to trim those down.
Pre-Release SM5 Event 4 @ Brick’s Play:
Round 1: vs Electirive/Gumshoos WIN
Got my Garchomp out quickly and my opponent couldn’t handle it, quick win.
Round 2: vs Empoleon/Magnezone LOSE
Now here’s the story. Before the tourney started, I tested with my friend Rauf just to see how our decks would work and I managed to beat him. So I thought this would go my way. It didn’t. His Empoleon killed me and not because of the first attack, I knew about it so I purposely didn’t bench more pokemon but the second attack wrecked me because of the discarding of energy cards. Of course we played a few more friendly games and I won all of them. Can’t win when I needed too huh?
Round 3: vs Gumshoos/Magnezone/Electirive WIN
Garchomp once again the MVP in this match, got it out in Turn 2 and a well timed Cynthia won me the game.
That new Garchomp is nasty good, confirms my hopes that it will be good and I do hope to make it work in my tourneys. Unfortunately the prof showed up and changed our schedule to a 3-round event which sucked because it’s a pre-release, we should play at least 4 games, as was advertised.
His reasons was for the lack of packs which I didn’t see was a big issue anywhere else. I ended up 6th out of 18 players, my highest placing of the four events but no unbeaten run for me this time. 2-1 for me. So out of the four events I went to, I played in 15 matches, won 10 of them and lost the other 5. Not bad I’d say.
As for the pulls, I thought I used up my luck in my first pre-release, I ended up getting 4 GXes, one full art trainer and a prism star card. I couldn’t ask for more. So the next one I only did get one GX, but it was Leafon so I’m cool with that. The third one was the first time in any pre-release that I didn’t pull one ultra rare card.
I thought it was going to be the same for the fourth one until my last pack, I got the full art Cynthia that everyone wants. Hehe whoops. Also during that pre-release in Brick’s Play, two guys pulled the Gold Solgaleo GX and Lunala GX seconds off each other!
Those are the two rarest in the set yet they were both pulled in the same event! What are the odds? Here’s what I pulled from the four events.
Ultra Prism will be an amazing set, I’m sure of it. Lots of good cards coming out of it, and the actual set will be out in a few hours time! Time to get cracking into the new packs. Here’s all the pre-release promos I pulled from the six sets I’ve been too. Yup, the first one I didn’t get the promo I wanted. It was bound to happen but kinda weird it happened in the one I went to the most.
I’ve always said pre-release is my favourite event for Pokemon TCG. Not just about the pulls but for the fun of playing decks you normally won’t play, testing your deck building skills and of course, make new friends, see your mates and have a good time overall. Why else would I go to FOUR pre-releases when some guys wpuld tell me it’s a waste of time going to more than one. It’s clearly not. 🙂
We just had another League Cup over the weekend and this was my 2nd one I’ve entered, but unlike the first one, I wasn’t all that prepared for this one. I mean I did just come back from a 2-week break in Japan (yes I bought some Japanese cards too). Before I flew off, I had just started testing out Vikavolt-Tapu Bulu deck.
I’ve seen my friend do so well with it for a long time and I had the cards for it, so I thought I might as well give it a try. Especially since Golisopod, Zoroark and especially Buzzwole can be one-hit KOed by Tapu Bulu. I thought it was a good choice for the current format. I had a warm-up run for the deck in my weekly tournament and I finished 3rd so I felt good about my chances.
The first game ended really quickly, I had all the pieces for a one-hit KO by Turn 2 and my opponent drew nothing. My second match was rubbish, I dead drew this time. The third match was much better but Buzzwole being a bitch, took out my support in the bench so I had no answer the moment a second one was ready.
Round 2: vs Zoroark/Lycanroc LWL – 0 points
Really tough match against the guy who ended up finish 2nd in the tournament. I couldn’t set up my Vikavolt in the first game. The second match I got it up within turn 2 and Bulu wrecked house. Once again the third game was evenly matched but then Lycanrocs showed up and ruined my game.
Yup I was the lucky one to get the free win after 2 losses. Not the way I wanted to get my win since my aim was to get at least one win after the really lousy first League Cup I had.
Round 4: vs Zoroark/Golisopod WLW – 6 points
Oh crap I’m playing a world’s player again so I was a bit nervous the whole time during that match. I was too slow in the second match but the first and third went the way I wanted it to go, Vikavolt up in turn 2 and Bulu knocking out the competition. A combination of Energy Recycler, two Vikavolts charging up Bulu and a Skyla for Choice Band for the win in the first game. An Instruct draw to get that Choice Band I was looking for was enough to get my that win in the 3rd game, both time knocking out Zoroark. So now I’m 2-0 in my two matches against a guy who finished 14th in the World’s championship last year.
I was feeling good going into this match because I was playing my good friend and before I flew off, I was testing this deck against the same deck he was using as he was in this LC. And I won all four of my matches. Only difference was I was using Octillery and not Oranguru as my draw support during those matches. The first match went as I hoped. The second I didn’t get what I needed. The third was brutal. My Grubbins and Vikavolts were targeted the whole time. I was just one Grass Energy away from winning but it never came.
Round 6: vs Vikavolt/Tapu Bulu LWL – 6 points
After all these matches, I finally get a mirror match while I was my opponent’s 3rd mirror match. In the first two matches it was a matter of who got the first knockout that ended up getting the win, winning in the prize exchange. The third match was brutal, my Grubbins were targeted right off the bat and all 3 of them were KOed back to back to back. I had no chance in that one.
So I ended up with 2 wins which is a good improvement for me but also 4 losses is worse than the last one. 6 points, the same points as the first League Cup. Even though I finished 33rd, I felt I did worse than I really should have. All 5 of my matches were equally matched so I was happy about that. I thought I could have won 4 of those match-up so there was some potential for improvement. Start from the bottom and slowly work my way up yeah? Hopefully it won’t be long before I can see my name on the first page, or the top 16, or top 8.
The time has come, my first real test as a Pokemon TCG player, a League Cup. Yes ok I have been to our local league challenges before with rubbish deck but this would be my first as a proper player and also my first actual League Cup with championship points up for grabs. Not that I’m in it for that since I’m not aiming for Worlds for the next 2 years.
Before the weekend, I had been testing out 2 different decks, Golisopod/Zoroark and Gardevoir/Zoroark. I knew whichever deck it was, I wanted to make use of the new Zoroark GX because it’s too good but on which deck. My choice was made even harder when another Golisopod/Zoroark deck won the London Internationals (completely different apporach to mine) which meant everyone will try to counter it. Not good news for me.
I had planned to play the Golisopod version on Saturday for the League Challenge and Gardevoir on Sunday for League Cup. On Friday night I changed my mind many times, first going with Gardevoir before switching back to Golisopod. Now thinking back, I probably should have gone with Gardevoir for Saturday after all.
League Cup didn’t go really well for me. My Golisopod/Zoroark deck was way different to the one Tord Reklev had (which means everyone else too since a lot of people here just like to copy whoever is doing well and not coming up with their own ideas). For mine, Golisopod-GX was the main attacker with Zoroark-GX as the back-up and I even added Necrozma-GX as a secret sweeper.
First match my opponent had me good. His 3 Guzmas were used to good effect. Second match it was equally matched, I used Ninja Boy on my Tapu Lele which had 3 energies on it to get Necrozma-GX out and hit Black Ray GX to pick up 4 prizes in one shot. We had no time to finish game 3 which was also equally matched. Probably my best game of the whole tourney, everything went downhill from here.
R2 vs Decidueye-GX/Zoroark-GX – LL (0/1/1) – 1 point
Both games I started with Tapu Lele so my set-up was compromised and I never recovered from it. I got too nervous and misplayed a lot. My opponent was too quick in both games to set-up his Decidueyes. He would end up finishing 1st out of 67 masters, can’t say I’m surprised with how smoothly his deck worked.
R3 vs Gardevoir-GX/Max Potion – LL (0/2/1) – 1 point
Yup the so called broken Gardevoir deck showed up here too. Again I got nervous and misplayed both games. First one I took out the wrong target. Second one I took a Zorua and not a Wimpod out during my Brigette move when I had two Golisopod-GXes in my hand.
R4 vs Drampa-GX/Garbodor – LWT (0/2/2) – 2 points
So by this point with no wins out of 3 points, I was just staying on to gain the experience of playing against guys who were serious players, some of them coming from Malaysia or Indonesia to win points here while some of my friends left. Yes Garb is still a thing apparently. I made the mistake in not realising it was Drampa when I did flying flip. Played it safe in Game 2 by just attacking Drampa the whole time. Not enough time to finish game 3, my stall tactic of switching my pokemon around saved me from another loss.
R5 vs Darkrai-EX/Darkrai-GX – LWT (0/2/3) – 3 points
Let’s just say I was surprised to see Darkrai. The first match I made the mistake of trying to attack with Necrozma and pick up 6 prizes in one shot, didn’t work. Didn’t notice my opponent was set-up very quickly and took easy KOs. I won game 2 on the last turn after time was called with Crossing Cut gx. I will say my opponent was playing unnecessarily slow which really irked me.
R6 vs Gardevoir/Sylveon – LL (0/3/3) – 3 points
The deck I’ve been testing against the most for the last 2 weeks so I knew what I could do against it. But of course both my games went horribly. And I had just beaten this same opponent the day before with the same deck! Game 1 my opponent was quicker to set-up. Game 2 was horrible. ALL 3 of my Golisopods were prized so I could only rely on my Necrozma and Zoroark BREAK. Both were knocked out with little effort so I scooped that round.
R7 vs Gardevoir/Sylveon – WW (1/3/3) – 6 points
Finally a win! This time I got lucky. My opponent couldn’t set-up in the first game. In the second one I was quicker to set-up and beat him to the punch in the prize race.
Even though I only finished with 1 win out of 7 matches, I did learn a lot from all of my matches, stuff I wouldn’t notice if I were to play in my local friendly weekly tournaments as I was playing against some of the best players in South East Asia. 44th out of 67 masters is nothing to brag about but I suppose it’s a start.
- Game 1 – Keep track of what resources my opponents have used
- Game 2 – Don’t get flusterd by a bad start. Keep calm, work around it
- Game 3 – Aim for the right target, keep track of what I have in my hand
- Game 4 – Play around my opponent’s strategy
- Game 5 – Don’t act smart and try a risky play. Don’t give opponent easy prizes
- Game 6 – Find more ways/add more cards to have outs from a bad start. Check to see what is prized.
With all that, I decided to give the League Cup a try with a completely new version of my Gardevoir deck, and hopefully play a better game than I did the day before. I had originally paired it with Slyveon and Octillery but I liked the idea of using Zoroark better so I gave that a try. I stayed up till 2 to build the deck from scratch. I was toying around the idea of including Puzzle of Time but at the last minute I switched it out for Evosoda and a few additional cards to make my deck more consistent. Unlike the previous day where I didn’t really know all of my opponents, this time I knew all 5 of my opponents. And 5 different decks too unlike the day prior.
Yes I’m already doing better in my first match than I did after 4 rounds yesterday. I knew about my friend’s Raichu deck as I was helping him out filling out his deck. Gallade was the MVP in the match because of Raichu’s weakness to it. The second game his field was set-up quickly and I only had one Gardevoir out, it wasn’t enough. Next game I had two of them ready and they cleaned house. I quickly realized in this match how powerful the combo of Premonition & Trade abilities of Gallade and Zoroark-GX can really be.
R2 vs Greninja – LL (1/1/0) – 3 points
Yup it’s the dang Ninja. I’ve played my opponent many times before, our match last month decided who would make top cut in a mini win-a-box tourney and in that one I messed up my trade ability and cost myself a win and 3rd place. This one, I couldn’t do much. My friend got his Greninja’s break set-up really quick in both games. I tried to knock out his Staryu both times but it came back both times haha. I tried my best to drain him out with my 2 Max Potions but it wasn’t enough. I would say it’s my best match against a Greninja deck, I’d easily lose to it most of the time.
R3 vs Weavile/Zoroark-GX – LWW (2/1/0) – 6 points
Fun fact, I was toying around the idea of playing a Weavile/Golisopod deck for this tourney but I went against it. So of course I ended up playing a Weavile deck. I fell for it’s trap in the first game so I played a slow and safe game in the next two games and it worked nicely. Gallade again was the saviour and even Zoroark helped me get some big KOs. The match was actually going to be a tie but my friend decided to give me the win since he already has gotten his points from the day before. Thanks boss!
R4 vs Volcanion-EX – ID (2/1/1) – 7 points
So me and my friend didn’t play this match out because we both realised with a draw, one of us had a very real possibility of finish 3rd or even 2nd if results went our way in Round 4. I was alright with the intentional draw, I’ve never beaten his Volcanion deck even with Gardevoir.
R5 vs Gardevoir-GX/Zoroark-GX – WLW (3/1/1) – 10 points
I was abit nervous of who my opponent could be, I had worked out that it may have been one of two guys, both really good. It wasn’t either one of them, it was someone I was not even expecting to play against because there’s just no way it should happen. It was Metagame’s owner Joey who I’d usually see from time to time at his store and get my stuff from him. Yes, the same Joey who finished 14th at Worlds this year. Holy crap I’m playing against not just one of the best players in Singapore but in the whole world too! Worlds top 16 player vs…well little old me!
Yup the final match of the weekend, after many tiring hours, was to be in a proper mirror match. The exact same attackers with similar strategies. Gardevoir and Zoroark vs Gardevoir and Zoroark. I’ve already seen how good he’s done with this deck before and I will admit my choice of Zoroark with Gardevoir was somewhat inspired by him with a few additions of my own. First match was equally matched and I just beat him in the prize race. I stopped his Zoroark with Gallade which turned the tide my way. Second match again was equally matched but he got the better of me. He had two Gardevoirs set-up against my single Gardevoir. Check-mate, he got me there.
I was really nervous about the third game, so much so my cards fell from my hands just from shuffling it haha! Third game was just as equally matched as the other two, Gallade helped me again. My Zoroark was killed off my his Gallade, which got my Gardevoir to kill it off, which got his Gardevoir to kill mine off. He played Sycamore in the hopes to get the 2nd one ready and lucky for me he never drew into it.
I used Premonition in the hopes of finding one Fairy Energy and DCE for the win and luckly for me the DCE for the 5th card, I put them up as the first two, used trade, put it on Gardevoir with a choice bad for the win. Oh man I just beat a Worlds top 16 player. Easily my best match in Pokemon TCG so far.
That win put me 6th out of 21 players. Not as many as the other time but hey that’s still pretty good for a newbie like me in a competitive environment. Really enjoyed the 2 days of playing, learned a lot from all these guys and hopefully it’s the start of something good. 12 games and I ended up with 4 wins, 4 losses and 4 draws. Very consistent eh haha! And hey, whenever it’s about Pokemon, TCG or the video game, it’ll always be fun. 🙂
So for those wondering who did well for the League Cup, these were the top 8 decks:
- Gardevoir-GX/Max Potion
- Decidueye-GX/Zoroark-GX/Alolan Ninetales-GX
And for the League Challenge thesse were the top 8 decks: